Creating the Future (Debate thread)

Hemant Desai (
Fri, 22 Mar 1996 06:22:55 -0600 (CST)

Reid Creech wrote:

> As you know, I am a major lurker on this site. To give you a bit of my
> background, I am a psychometric methods specialist (following L. L.
> Thurstone) and a Cognitive Behavioral therapist. I am neither a
> constructivist nor a theoretician, but a methodologist. For some time I
> have been observing the ongoing conflict between Dr. Chambers and
> Dr. Neimeyer. I see two primary issues involved here:

> 1. A "good old boy network" exists which operates to maintain
> strongly held beliefs, and to exclude access to "membership" and
> publication to those who are not believers. I know this to exist, and
> that is a primary reason why there are so many different journals in
> psychology: Those with differing belief systems, having been denied the
> opportunity to voice their opinions in existing journals have started new
> journals. Dr. Chambers' view that the "good old boy" network has shut
> him out and damaged him may well be true. I've known it to happen to
> others. And I've known it to happen that people who fly in the face of
> the "good old boy" network have been blacklisted by the simple
> transmission to others that "this guy is not to be trusted," or that "he
> is not one of us." I think many of us know that this happens.
> However, I don't think that this system (the "good old boy" network) can
> be proven, demonstrated, and perhaps, even be challenged. I think that
> it is there and that it is real; however, it is a byproduct of the way in
> which we conduct business. We create a journal or a forum as a vehicle
> to discuss _our_ issues. If a newcomer attempts to use our journal/forum
> to express views which are distinct from our own, then we may deny access,
> partly to maintain our own views of what our theory promulgates, partly
> not to have to change our position, etc. And, at times, I think this
> censoring occurs unconsciously so that, if challenged, defensiveness and
> rationalizations arise.

> Therefore, I see an attempt to attack the "good old boy" network as a
> battle difficult to win. I very much doubt that my data which uniquely
> demonstrate the splitting defence in borderline people would find a home
> in the Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy. They would not want to hear it.

> 2. There are strongly held positions regarding the value,
> strengths, and weaknesses of certain pieces of research. THIS I find to be
> a _very_ striking opportunity for those of us on the Internet! How many
> of us are there on the PCP forum? 500? 1,000? More?
> What a wonderful forum to produce a debate between opposing theoretical
> forces! A debate which takes place nearly in "real time," with the rest
> of the network in a position to observe and monitor the debate. Before
> the Internet, such a process would have been ABSOLUTELY impossible! Now
> it is before us!
> I know of no other debate in history which can do what this could do --
> a serious debate on scientific issues -- in real time, with the
> scientific world looking on.
> I can forsee that a referee (or a panel of referees) might need to be
> present to receive comments from the rest of us, so that our multitude
> does not disturb the debate. The referee/panel would have the
> responsibility of processing the incoming mail from the multitude
> regarding the debate; to point out to the debaters points not challenged,
> or incorrectly challenged, points not covered, etc., and to share their
> viewpoints with the multitude.
> NEVER, IN THE HISTORY OF MAN have we had such an opportunity to produce
> such a debate in the spirit of scientific inquiry! The technology has
> never before existed!
> Dr. Neimeyer, whom I terribly respect, has said that he does not wish to
> engage such issues; however, I believe him to be in an optimum position
> to mount such a debate.
> And Bob, I understand the press of time and related issues -- I live with
> them myself, and I suspect that Dr. Chambers does, as well.
> I repeat that I am not a Kellian, and may be unqualified to make this
> observation, but from my lurking, it appears that both Dr. Chambers and
> Dr. Neimeyer are personal construct psychologists, neither of whom "own
> the truth" in PCP. These learned men possess opposing views.
> WHAT AN OPPORTUNITY for the engagement of a wonderful debate! This has
> never been accomplished before! NEVER! What an opportunity! What a
> ground-breaker! Does anyone else on the pcp-network agree with me?


Your post has helped confirm some of my own hunches about the nature
of personal constructs and group reality. Regarding the Bob-Bill exchange,
I think it should be conducted on this list whenever possible and soon. It
could then be saved as a dialogue with commentaries for WWW Publication.

[ BTW, you can review this mailbase list by sending an email message to: with the text: review pcp in the body of the
message--you may leave the subject area blank ]

I have yet another suggestion. Why don't we establish an E-mail based,
openly reviewed _publication_, with an multinational group of dedicated
volunteers, (how about the title: "A JOURNAL" OF PSYCHOSOCIAL CONSTRUALS)
whose primary purpose will be raising questions, among other things, on
ideas such as alter-nativism, particularly: What after "forty years of PCT"?

With best wishes and looking forward to more thoughts on how we could set
up such a resources to facilitate discourse and an Even Playing Field (EPF)
for all concerned. Thanks a lot for your contribution to this forum.


Hemant K. Desai, MPS
E-mail address:
Phone number (402) 476 7311
US Post: PO Box 85671, Lincoln, NE 68501-5671

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